CBP Seizes $200K+ in Unreported Currency

U.S. Customs seized more than $220,000 in unreported U.S. currency from two U.S. citizen pedestrians who attempted to walk into Mexico. The story below shows the skill of U.S. Customs officers in detecting people who are transporting more than $10,000 without filing the necessary currency report.

While the story calls it a failure to report, it also looks like bulk cash smuggling. Read our popular article on responding to a currency seizure by clicking HERE; (see our case results here).

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas arrested a man and a woman from Bryan, Texas for allegedly failing to report a total of $223,371 in U.S. currency as they attempted to enter into Mexico.

“This was certainly an outstanding interception of U.S. currency that was headed into Mexico without being properly declared,” said Port Director Petra Horne, Brownsville Port of Entry. “There are many reasons why travelers decline to declare currency being exported into Mexico, but previous experience indicates that usually it does not involve legitimate activities.”

On Feb. 26, CBP officers working outbound operations at Brownsville’s Gateway International Bridge encountered a 23-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man, both U.S. citizens from Bryan, as they attempted to exit into Mexico as pedestrians. Officers referred the couple for a secondary examination after noting discrepancies during their initial encounter and it was there that packets of U.S. currency were discovered hidden on their person. CBP OFO removed and seized 44 packets totaling $38,076 from the female and $85,365 in 22 packets from the male.

CBP-OFO arrested the man and woman and ultimately released them to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation. HSI continued their investigation, which led to the discovery and seizure by HSI agents of an additional $100,000 in unreported currency in a vehicle associated with the couple.

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit.

Please read these other articles:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Responding to a Customs currency seizure
  8. How do I get my seized money back?
  9. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  10. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations
  12. Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP